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Culture confirmation of gonococcal infection by recall of subjects found to be positive by nucleic acid amplification tests in general practice
  1. Jens Kjølseth Møller1,2
  1. 1Department of Clinical Microbiology, Lillebælt Hospital, Vejle, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Clinical Microbiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr J K Møller, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Institute of Regional Health Services Research, University of Southern Denmark, Lillebælt Hospital, Kabbeltoft 25, DK-7100 Vejle, Denmark; jkm{at}


Objectives To evaluate a routine notification of general practitioners to recall nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT)-positive subjects for culture of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to confirm gonococcal infection in the community.

Methods A retrospective observational study of the routine testing for N gonorrhoeae by analysis of test results compiled from the laboratory information system in two departments of clinical microbiology.

Results Altogether, 158 male and female subjects with NAAT-positive results for N gonorrhoeae were included in the study. Samples for culture of N gonorrhoeae were collected from 102/158 (64.6%) subjects recalled after a NAAT assay was found positive. Growth of N gonorrhoeae was seen in the samples from 54/102 (52.9%) of the re-examined NAAT-positive subjects. Among subjects with samples collected within the first week after the positive NAAT test, 34/44 (77.3%) were confirmed positive by culture.

Conclusion This study shows that it is possible for the general practitioner to recall a substantial number of NAAT-positive subjects to collect swabs for culture of N gonorrhoeae to confirm gonococcal infection in the community. Most recall samples are culture positive if collected within a week of the NAAT-positive test, and may provide a sufficient monitoring of the drug susceptibility of N gonorrhoeae strains in the community.

  • NAAT
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • culture
  • recall samples
  • general practice
  • gonorrhoea
  • molecular biology

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.